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The Phillies are accused of secrecy regarding Ryan Howard; Ruben Amaro plays defense

May 21, 2012, 9:13 AM EDT

Ryan Howard

There were two interesting articles in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

  • Bob Brookover reported how he was removed from Bright House Field in Clearwater last week while trying to cover Ryan Howard‘s rehab; and
  • Frank Fitzpatrick questioned the Phillies’ giving Howard a cortisone shot in September and quotes medical experts who suggest that the shot could have contributed to Howard’s Achilles injury in the playoffs.

Obviously both of those were shots over the Phillies’ bow, with the first one accusing the team of secrecy. The second one was notable for the fact that the Phillies declined comment.

In response, GM Ruben Amaro had a hastily-assembled press conference yesterday in which he defended the team.  Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia has the report. The upshot: Amaro says the team is conservative with cortisone shots and that they’re not concerned. As for keeping the media out of Howard’s rehab — both the Inquirer and CSNPhilly have been barred from covering his workouts — well, the rationale is somewhat less clear:

“We just feel uncomfortable with it,” Amaro said. “We’d rather be able to report those things. I just don’t feel comfortable putting the player in that position right now … We’re not trying to hide things,” Amaro continued. “That’s not our job. Our job is to have the best interest of the player in mind and we want to make sure he gets ready at his own pace. When you have people getting involved in a rehab such as this it can, in fact, affect the player.”

Given that most other teams allow the press to watch workouts down at spring training facilities, this explanation isn’t exactly satisfying.  We don’t want to let the press in because … we don’t want to let the press in.” Hurm.

This is not the first time the Phillies have been cagey with injuries and rehab. Chase Utley‘s situation has had its own lack of transparency too, though many chalk that up to Utley’s wishes, not the team’s.  It’s unclear whether Howard’s situation is the same or if, rather, it’s indicative of the Phillies consciously staking out a different approach to such matters than the other teams.

I will observe one thing, however: if the intention of such an approach is to limit media scrutiny, Amaro is in for a rude awakening.  The one thing that makes reporters work harder to get a story is telling them that they can’t get the story.

  1. rpink24 - May 21, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    I don’t see why they would have interest in covering a workout. What’s to there to write about, Howard jogging, sitting in a chair taking grounders, riding the stationary bike. There is nothing new to report people. When they start playing minor league games then I will start to care. Until then, Howard and Utley don’t exist(just like jimmy rollins’ bat).

    • chadjones27 - May 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      Jimmy Rollin’s bat does exist. He uses it pop-up to the infield all the time.

      • rpink24 - May 21, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        or roll one over to the second baseman

    • sasquash20 - May 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      Could very well like to see how he is health wise and see if he would coment on the cortizone shot speculation.

  2. mungman69 - May 21, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I don’t care

  3. lunt101 - May 21, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    I’ll go with Phillies suck.

    Thanks.

    • Utley's Hair - May 21, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      Your mom didn’t seem to complain. (Is that as sophomoric as lunt101?)

      • heyblueyoustink - May 21, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        Nothing wrong with a good mom joke. Though I wonder why lunt101 felt the need to thank us, did he take a bow in front of his screen after that?

  4. heyblueyoustink - May 21, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    They’re keeping him in hididng because they’re actually training his understudy. The real Ryan Howard was assasinated after last years playoffs by a mob of Phillies fans dressed like Santa Claus with a barrage of batteries, snow balls, and they impailed him with a series of impailed cheesesteak rolls.

    Sounds about right, eh?

    • heyblueyoustink - May 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      *stale* cheesesteak rolls. Mondays suck.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 21, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        Ah yes, they used that as a kind of slick to keep him from getting away, and then the apparent lone decent Phillies fan, the one who’s little daughter threw the ball over the railing that one game, decided this time to throw his daughter over the railing to appease the apparent god of Phillies fans, Krom.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      You forgot the intentional vomit. You gotta have intentional vomit.

    • Utley's Hair - May 21, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Come on, blue!! WAKE UP!!!!!!! Here, let me help. Where’s my Taser…?

      • heyblueyoustink - May 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        First day of a new pagan fiscal month means i’m covertly contributing here amongst the unfathomable barrage of numbers and reports.

        I’ll get by with a little help from my friends.

  5. sgtr0c - May 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Why did you change the word rehab to workout halfway through? I know Howard is in Clearwater, working, but a team’s player workouts are media open, a players rehab should not be.

  6. johnny312 - May 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    What an Ass U R! Lunt101

  7. phillyphan83 - May 21, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    You should be used to not getting the story Craig, then again, you’re not a writer, you’re just an amateur blogger so I guess that comes with the territory. How’d you learn about last nights Dodgers stadium beating no. 2 again? Oh that’s right, through a comment on your pathetic-excuse-for-journalism post on Bryce Harper’s battery comment, which, by itself, I enjoyed, though it didn’t need your denigration of Philly fans tied to it. Amateur hour continues…

  8. tsi431 - May 21, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    It could be worse for the Philly’s.

    They could of signed Howard to an extension through 2019 and pay him over $25 million for the final 5 years.

    Oh wait. Lunt 101 is right.

    • Utley's Hair - May 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      Yeah…pretty obvious correlation there. isn’t it?

  9. mlblogsrichroehl - May 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    i think that stool will cut down alot on his mobility at 1st base. how does he get from home to first?

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